Top-level U.S. security leaders November 3 communicated directly with officials of the major all-cargo and express air carriers and visited Yemen, the country believed to be the source of last week’s printer bomb threats. The Homeland Security Secretary discussed enhanced security measures with officials at UPS, DHL, FedEx, and TNT, and suggested preventative measures that would include terrorism awareness training for their employees, who number about 1 million. In a talk with the director general of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), she underscored the partnership with airlines and alliances that focuses on layered security. An IATA spokesman said the industry group was pleased that the secretary “reached out to the industry.” At a security conference in Frankfurt, Germany this week, the IATA chief also met with the director of the Transportation Security Administration.
A cargo area at John F. Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York was briefly evacuated November 3 when a suspicious package from Yemen was discovered, authorities said. The package, found in a DHL Express cargo area about 5:30 p.m., contained a cellphone, officials said. The discovery prompted concern because it came 1 week after authorities foiled a plot in which two separate bombs — each containing circuit boards from cellphones — were sent from Yemen to Chicago via FedEx and U.P.S. Those packages were intercepted before reaching the United States. The discovery of the package November 3 led to the evacuation of the DHL cargo facility out of an abundance of caution, said a FBI spokesman. The package was determined safe just after 8 p.m., and workers were allowed to return. The evacuation did not affect any passenger terminals, a Port Authority spokesman said.
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